An avid reader,writer,traveller, sports enthusiast living in beachside Melbourne & working in the city. Always curious about what's around the corner.
Published August 1st 2011
Dance at Bougival
The Waltz is classically elegant and beautifully rhythmic and is a very graceful dance that teaches balance, posture and control. To waltz is to emotionally soar. Waltzes today are performed to very modern music as well as that of the olden day masters such as Johann Strauss.
I defy anyone to learn to waltz and then not enjoy it immensely. Sure, it's frustrating when you start, and we all start with several left feet, (that's right- you are not alone) but if you persevere the reward is a fantastic sense of euphoria and a huge addition to your social calendar.
Once you get over the "everybody is looking at me" stage (I assure you that they are not) and relax and enjoy the journey, your progress will probably be much faster. There are several ways to learn to waltz. You can attempt to learn by yourself through books or videos, but these aids are really of use to you once you have actually learned to dance. They use very specific terminology. The most practical way is to learn from an instructor. It isn't relevant whether your teacher is part of dance studio or not, as there are greater and lesser instructors in both areas.
If you want to learn quickly and continue to dance on, I would suggest that you pay for one-on-one lessons with your instructor (there are both male and female instructors) using someone of the opposite gender. This is the more expensive way to learn but progress is much faster. (approx cost can be between $50-$80/hour: an hour is enough in one session).
If constraints exist, either financial or otherwise, join a group class. These can run from about $10-$25 per hour but remember that it will take longer to master the routine. Group classes are so much fun and tend to be a social occasion as well. Dancers tend to stick together, maybe because of the initial feeling of inadequacy when learning and it isn't uncommon to be stopped in the street several years later by a former class mate.
The Modern Waltz is usually one of the first dances taught as it is synonymous with Ballroom Dancing and enters the routine of many other dances. Once you can waltz, picking up on specific steps of most other dances is not as difficult.
Dance in the City
For the history buff:-
The Waltz was first noted by a French Philosopher in the 16th Century who noticed that in Augsburg, Germany the dancers danced with their faces touching. Shocking many when it was first introduced in Vienna in 1780s, it rapidly spread in the ensuing years. During the Regency period in Britain, the waltz became very popular, although as late as 1825 it was still considered relatively indecent and in 1919, it was mooted as being "magnificently improper"
To assist, I have listed several of the well known dance studios, around Melbourne,but this list is by no means exclusive and if you Google Waltz Instructors , you'll find a comprehensive list of choices.
Dance Ltd- Mary Cashman - several suburbs- 0403 083 113
Melbourne Dance Classes at Brighton 9530 6000 Arthur Murray- City & several suburbs 9639 1477 Forever Dance Studios in Richmond 9421 1228
Star Studio at Bentleigh 9557 6389
Diamond Creek Dance Centre 9438 3112
MarShere Cranbourne 5996 5670
Rythemics City - 9328 3637
Ritz Ballroom in Murrumbeena 9563 8422
Allegria Dance Centre Cheltenham 9017 5266
Dance Dynamics in Richmond 0412 208 300
Twos Company at Epping 8401 3164
Rio Dance Studio, High St Melbourne 9510 7922
Wishing you and your feet, many magical hours of fun and freedom of expression.